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Hawai'i Island GMO Ban Mayor Is "Going to the Superbowl"

  • GMO Free Hawai'i Island, December 5, 2013

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Hawaii News page.

Hilo, Hawai'i, 12/5/13:  Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi is "going to the Superbowl" after signing a law banning GMO crops. After nearly 6 months of deliberation, the Hawai'i County Council passed Bill 113 with a 6-3 vote followed by Kenoi signing the bill into law to prohibit open-air cultivation of all GMO's except for GMO papaya and corn.    

"With this new ordinance we are conveying that instead of global agribusiness corporations, we want to encourage and support community-based farming and ranching." Kenoi declared.

The ink was barely dry when Kenoi rushed off to Kissimmee, Florida to support his son in the 2013 Pop Warner Superbowl.  

Kenoi's son played a pivotal role in sending his team to Florida by scoring a touchdown off an interception.  The older Kenoi was a referee and made local news when he couldn't help but celebrate by running down the sideline to the end zone.  

Meanwhile, off the gridiron, over 2,000 people provided written testimony in support of banning GMO crops with only 6 written comments in opposition at the first reading of the bill according the originator of the bill, Hawai'i County Councilor Margaret Willie.  

The proposal for the ban was originally created when Councilor Willie discovered state-level efforts to create pre-emptive laws that would overrule municipal laws.  The Big Island of Hawai'i approved bans on GMO Hawaiian taro and coffee in 2008 for cultural and economic reasons.  GMO is short for Genetically Modified Organism.

"This law is warranted since there is no meaningful  and effective regulation by the state or feds.  While this is a huge victory, the Hawaiian Islands remain "ground-zero" for open-air GMO experimentation." said GMO Free Hawai'i Island organizer Dave Sansone.  

Kaua'i Island recently passed pesticide disclosure rules and buffer zones for GMO experiments and seed production after enormous groundswell to reign in biotech.  Maui legislators recently introduced similar regulations.  

A common concern of supporters of the Hawai'i Island bill is the Bush I administration policy of "Substantial Equivalence" which permits open-air GMO experimentation and human consumption of GMO's without any mandatory clinical feeding studies on rodents or humans or labeling requirements for food containing GMO ingredients.

Other concerns include mounting medical studies that indicate GMO's are a threat to health and GMO contamination of non-GMO food and seed stocks.  Farmers have lost millions of dollars due to export markets collapsing overnight as a result of GMO contamination of corn, rice, wheat, papaya, and most recently alfalfa.

For more information, contact:

GMO Free Hawai'i Island Organizer Dave Sansone: GMOFreeHawaiiIsland@gmail.com / (808)-987-6420 Hawai'i County Councilor Margaret Willie:    mwille@co.hawaii.hi.us /   (808) 887-2069 Mayor Billy Kenoi: cohmayor@co.hawaii.hi.us / (808) 323-4444 in Florida to support his son in the Pop Warner Super Bowl                   until 12/16

Background Information: Media coverage:  www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/12/06/gmo-crops-banned-on-big-island-of-hawaii Mayor's announcement: http://hawaiicountymayor.com/2013/12/05/mayor-kenoi-signs-bill-113/ Kona Coffee Growers support:  www.hawaiireporter.com/protect-kona-coffee-from-gmo-kona-coffee-farmers-association-supports-county-bill-79/123      

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